MANILA - Businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles has asked the Supreme Court to reverse the denial of the Sandiganbayan of her motion for bail and consequently allow her to post bail.
In a supplemental petition which the camp of Napoles filed before the Supreme Court, lawyer Stephen David asked the SC to allow Napoles to “post bail for her provisional liberty on the ground that the evidence of her guilt is not strong.”
A copy of the petition was also submitted before the Sandiganbayan 1st Division, which issued the resolution denying Napoles’ petition for bail in 2015.
Foremost among the reasons cited by Napoles is the Supreme Court decision on former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which said that the identification of a public official as the main plunderer “logically necessary” for such a case.
“Plunder is a crime committed by a public official and a private person could only be indicted for the same offense on the basis of conspiracy with the said public official. By the very nature of this crime, it could not be possible to find strong evidence of guilt against the accused public official, as it is also not possible to convict the private accused and acquit the public official,” David said.
Napoles is currently undergoing trial for plunder, along with former Sen. Bong Revilla and Atty. Richard Cambe, at the Sandiganbayan 1st Division, aside from her other plunder cases with other lawmakers.
Her lawyer noted that the evidence so far presented by government prosecutors did not show that Revilla and Cambe as the main plunderers.
“It should be emphasized that what the Plunder law punishes is the act of a public officer in amassing or accumulating ill-gotten wealth of at least P50,000,000 through a series or combinations of acts enumerated in Section 1, par (d) of the said law,” David said.
Napoles has also sought to be allowed to post bail in her case with former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile but was also denied by the Supreme Court last year.
Napoles is currently detained at the facility of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Camp Bagong Diwa for the plunder cases of Revilla, Enrile and Estrada.